Paul McCartney - The US Tour 2005

30.10.2005, Omaha, NE; "Qwest Center Omaha"



McCartney Rocks Qwest Center

October 31, 2005

OMAHA, Neb. -- A Beatle brought his Magical Mystery Tour to Omaha Sunday night.

Sir Paul McCartney performed for nearly three hours at the Qwest Center Omaha as part of his U.S. tour.

McCartney sang songs from his days with the Beatles, Wings and his own solo material.

Tickets for Paul McCartney's Qwest Center show sold out in 14 minutes in April -- a new venue record. The old record was held by Kenny Chesney. The country star's tickets sold out in 16 minutes, and prompted organizers to schedule a second Omaha show.

Also on McCartney's calendar this year -- he's one of a group of artists contributing a track to a album honoring the late Bee Gee Maurice Gibb. He died in 2003. Country Weekly reports some of the other artists on the album will LeAnn Rimes, Eric Clapton and Beyonce.

For many, day was all Paul
October 31, 2005
During his nearly three-hour performance Sunday night at the Qwest Center Omaha, the rock icon rescued the audience from radio's one-hit wonders with a 36-song set list of Beatles, Wings and solo material from five decades.

And he also rescued a pair of fluorescent green glow sticks after a security guard seized them from a fan.

After performing the Beatles classic "Eleanor Rigby," McCartney momentarily stopped the show to scold the concert worker for confiscating the glow sticks from a woman near center stage.

Several boos were heard before the security man appeared on a video screen returning them to the fan, who by then was glowing as much as the sticks.

She and some 16,000 other McCartney fans had plenty of other reasons to beam at his sold-out show.

The concert marked the first time McCartney performed in Omaha. He never came here with the Beatles or Wings.

The show was an event. Many fans made it a daylong celebration.

Hours before the arena's doors opened, fans mingled about, taking pictures of tour buses behind the building and the video marquee on the corner of 10th Street and Capitol Avenue that displayed McCartney's picture.

A few hours before the show, Sally Sheehan and Amber Volquartsen stood outside the building with their ears pressed to a thick glass door.

With cameras dangling from their necks, the mother and daughter from Stanton, Iowa, were doing their best to make out the muffled music coming from inside as McCartney and his band ran through sound checks before the show.

"I'm melting," said the 31-year-old Volquartsen, who was wearing devil's horns and a bright red wig in hopes that it would be easier for McCartney to spot her in the crowd.

Margaret Wilson and her friend Kay Brittain drove three hours from Ray, Mo., to attend the show.

"She's had butterflies all day," Wilson said of her friend.

Brittain, who had an oversized "I Love Paul" button pinned to her shirt, said she's been a McCartney fan since 1964.

"I was 14 and he had those beautiful eyes," said Brittain, who was attending her third McCartney concert.

First-time McCartney concertgoer Mike Deleo of Omaha, who was clad in a white "Fab 4" jersey, was peering through binoculars at tour buses parked behind the arena.

"I love Paul," said Deleo, 41, said. "I love his music."

All the excitement outside didn't come close to the anticipation inside the arena in the moments leading up to the show.

Opening act DJ Freelance Hellraiser tried his best to warm up the crowd by mixing an assortment of McCartney songs with various dance beats. The predominately baby boomer crowd didn't seem to get it and looked puzzled throughout much of the DJ's 15-minute set.

But they erupted with cheers and sprung from their seats when McCartney and his four-piece band walked on stage following a short film showing the star through the ages.

After kicking off with a raucous version of "Magical Mystery Tour," McCartney addressed his adoring audience.

"Greetings Omaha, Nebraska! We've come from many miles to rock you tonight and rock you we will!"

And then it was one show-stopping number after another. There was "Jet" and "Band on the Run" from his days with Wings. There were several new songs from his latest album, "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard."

And, of course, there were plenty of Beatles songs, which made up the bulk of the set list.

Backed by his impeccable band - drummer Abe Laboriel Jr., keyboardist Paul "Wix" Wickens, guitarist Rusty Anderson and bassist-guitarist Brian Ray - McCartney delivered such Beatles hits as "Let It Be," "Penny Lane," "The Long and Winding Road," "I'll Follow the Sun," "Hey Jude," "Yesterday," "Helter Skelter," and so many other classics.

The 63-year-old singer, boyish-looking in jeans and a blazer, was energetic, chatty and relaxed, even two dozen songs into the set.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," 17-year-old Ashley Hoesing of Omaha said of the show.

For concertgoer Jeff Farrar of Omaha, it didn't matter that he didn't have the best seats in the house.

For what was his fifth McCartney concert, Farrar settled on obstructed-view seats behind the stage.

"I don't care where I sit," he said. "I just want to see him. The back of his head is good enough for me."